November Lion cubs
On Nov. 8, three-year-old lioness Adia gave birth to four cubs at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo the first lion cubs at the zoo since 1991. A December health checkup revealed that the litter had two males and two females. The little lions belong to a South African subspecies, Panthera leo krugeri. African lions are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
December Andean bear cubs
After several days of watching and waiting, Billie Jean the Andean bear finally gave birth to two cubs on Dec. 13. It will be at least two months before keepers can learn the sex of the cubs, as they like to give mom and babies plenty of time and space to bond. Andean bears are native to South America and listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.